Heidi and I traveled down to Flint to visit the new Farmers’ Market. The market moved last summer into its new home in the old Flint Journal building. The new setting is
stunning and definitely worth a visit if you’re in Mid-Michigan.
Finding the market is easy. If you’re
in downtown Flint, it’s the big building with big red letters
saying Flint Farmers’ Market. It’s also close to I-475, the
interstate that cuts through the heart of Flint. From I-475, take
Exit 7 (Court Street) and turn onto 2nd street and the
market will be on your right. Be warned that second street is pretty
beat up, so go slow unless you have your own alignment shop.
One last logistical detail before we
take a peek inside. As of this writing, the market is open Tuesday,
Thursday and Saturday. Check here for hours.
It’s still too early for the local
farmers to have any produce. In fact, we haven’t even been able to
plant our garden yet. The stalls outside were empty. However, the
vendors inside have produce year round.
In the white tent in the picture above
is Reiner’s Meat Shop. Reiner Wedel, the owner, makes and sells a
huge variety of meats and cheeses. We’ve tried his jerky and a few
of his cheeses and they are good even for people spoiled by
Frankenmuth’s German butcher shops. He says his are even better.
I’m not sure about that but he sure gives them a run for their
Inside, the place was hopping with
customers and filled with vendors. The market has meat shops, fresh
produce, bakeries, home made soaps, herbs, and a variety of other
vendors. We bought some salad greens from the salad green lady as
well as some sweet corn. Even though it came from Florida, it still
was really good. I also had one of the best bagels I’ve had in a
The stores are brightly lit and there’s
an open feel. We were also stricken by how friendly everyone was.
Vendors and customers alike welcome you with a smile. That’s
actually pretty common in Flint, where people have a resilient,
hard-working attitude. The common bond is that if we work together
we can get through the current crisis. People rally together to make
the world a better place, even though things have been really tough
in Flint for a long time.
There’s a common eating area and cafe
with ample seating for a quick lunch. There were also stands with
vendors as well as information booths from local companies. For
example, the black stand above is from Hurley Medical Center, a local
There were several places to get tea
and coffee. The photo above shows one of them.
The market also has a commercial
kitchen available to vendors. That allows people to make their own
food products for sale (which is generally illegal without a
commercial kitchen unless an exception applies). In addition, we saw
signs for workshops for food entrepreneurs. It sure seems the
community is committed to developing the market and its vendors even
Toward the back I saw something that
warmed my heart. One of the principles of designing a creative space
is to put writeable surfaces everywhere. A simple way to do this is
to put showerboards up where people can access them. Showerboard is
cheap and also works great as a dry erase board. Toward the back,
well wishers had left their messages on an improvised whiteboard.
Again, if you visit the Flint area the
market is definitely worth a stop. It’s right across the street
from the University of Michigan Flint and is walking distance from
Michigan State’s Flint location. We will definitely be returning.